BY JUANA BETHEL
SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
The Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival is quickly growing beyond the borders of the City of Miami Gardens, boasting an annual attendance of more than 70,000 music lovers from all over the United States and Caribbean Islands.
The City of Miami Gardens is preparing for the 12th annual festival, taking place March 17-19 at Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Drive.
Along with the two days of concerts, the festival will include the Film, Music, Arts and Culture Conference. The purpose of the conference is to educate, showcase and celebrate the diversity of art forms and artists in and around South Florida.
Smiley to host again
This year’s concerts will feature three-time Grammy award winning singer-songwriter Jill Scott, rap pioneer Common, hip-hop legends The Roots and LL Cool J, R&B crooner Robin Thicke, and up-and-coming soul singer Andra Day.
Headliners will include jazz royalty Herbie Hancock, funk music innovator Morris Day and the Time, and Jazz in the Gardens All-Stars Chantae Moore, Will Downing and Marion Meadows.
Comedian and radio host Rickey Smiley will host the festival again.
“The Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival is coming back to Miami Gardens with a bang. We’re excited to bring some of the hottest, most talented performers in music, such as Jill Scott and Common, and welcome hip-hop performers who are heavily influenced by jazz, like The Roots and LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-TRIP,” said Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert.
First poetry contest
Miami Gardens’ signature event also will showcase local artists, along with an array of tropical food vendors, and a buzzing marketplace.
The Film, Music, Arts and Culture Conference takes place on Thursday, March 16, to Friday, March 17. The conference will include discussions with prominent figures in the art industry covering a wide range of topics.
The night of March 16 will feature the festival’s first Poetry in the Gardens as part of the conference, showcasing the talents of poets from all over the country.
On Saturday and Sunday, doors to the Jazz in the Gardens Music festival will open at 3 p.m. and the show will begin at 4 p.m.